To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will take steps to allow (a) Devon County Council and (b) other councils to decide how and where to spend the Bus Service Operators Grant.
30 January 2017
Over £40 million a year of Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG) is already devolved to local transport authorities in England outside London. So, for instance, Devon County Council receives over £1.1 million in devolved BSOG each year. Authorities have freedom to decide how they use the devolved funding, as long as it is used to support the provision of bus services in their area.
We intend to continue to consider any further requests for the devolution of BSOG, other than where franchising is in place, on a case by case basis – with a focus on the benefits to be achieved for passengers. However, we believe that simply devolving all BSOG automatically to local authorities could have perverse and unintended outcomes for local bus services, as such services do not respect local transport authority boundaries and the decisions taken by one authority could have significant implications for the overall viability of a wider network of services.